Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Communities

J1/ In “Community, Commitment, and Individuality,” Bellah et al argue that community involvement leads to and fosters civic individualism/civic engagement. Think about the example of Angelo Donatello, who found that embracing his individual heritage as an Italian-American compelled him to join not only a local chapter of the Sons of Italy but also inspired him to become a civic leader in Boston. Think also about Cecilia Dougherty, whose sense of civic engagement—her desire to help the “have nots have power that reflects their numbers” (pg. 84)—extends from her awareness of her private life, i.e. the values instilled in her by her parents as well as her struggles as a widowed housewife with four children. Make a comprehensive list of the many communities—large/small, formal/informal, serious/silly—that you consider yourself a part of. For each community, reflect on what has led you to participate in these communities. Did you join a particular community because it reflected the values you were raised with (such as a religious youth group or)? The values/interests you are beginning to embrace on your own (such as a “simple living” club or a “literary society”)? The values/interests of your peers (such as a ‘greek’ organization or a “Maroon 5” fan club)? To what degree is your membership in these communities an extension of private and/or social aspects of your personality? Please explain.

The biggest community that I am a part of is that I am an American. Although I am an American by birth, and didn't get to choose it, there is not place else that I would rather live in. I think that I am pretty active in being an American. I vote and I keep up with the news but I think it takes more than that to be an American. I think of America as a place of independence and freedom, I am using that because I am going to college so that I can be whoever I want to be when i grow up. I think that too many people take our liberties for granted. America is a place that comes together when something bad happens in any area of it as seen with hurricane Katrina and The World Trade Center. I also show my American quality in that I love to spend money and I like that you can have whatever you want really here because the country itself was built on the whole idea. Although being an American shaped aspects of my personal life like my beleid ststem, political preferences, and overall values, it also affects my social life in that I grew up with baseball games, barbecues, girl scout cookies, and high school proms.

The next biggest community that I belong to is my hometown community of Suffolk. When I think about the community that is the closest to my heart this is the community that comes to mind. It is broad and includes my neighborhood, the Kingsboro Community, my high school, the Nansemond River High School community, and various other communities that I can recall spending most of my childhood days. I moved to Suffolk when I was two so I didn't really have a choice in the matter. My dad was stationed in Norfolk in the navy so Suffolk was just far enough away and was really not developed at all. They loved it and instilled their this in me as well by going to annual Peanut fests and getting involved in things like 4h, softball, and other groups. I think I am pretty active in the community or was moreso before I came to college. I think it has shaped personal aspects of my life as it was not the most cultured of places. It is a very large city and holds a variety of people. This is the community that has allowed me to develop the most socially because it holds all of my closest friends as well as all the groups and teams I have been a part of growing up.

The community that I am currently the most active in is the Randolph-Macon community, the class of 2008. I chose to enter this community because I wanted to go to a small college that was not too far away from home. I saw that it had a good teaching program and since I want to be a teacher that also led to my decision. I chose this because of values that I had on my own, I only knew one other girl that was coming and neither one of my parents had even went to college. I think I am pretty active in the Randolph-Macon community; I think I am a part of a few sub communities including being an english major, living in Conrad, and being an Education minor. Socially I am pretty active in that I have a good number of friends and love to go out.

A community that I am trying to become a part of is the Teaching Community. Currently I am going to college to become a teacher, either kindergarden or that for special education in the gifted and talented department. Being a teacher is a decision that I made on my own and have wanted to do since I was a young girl despite the many people telling me that I should do something that would make more money. Although I am a big fan of shopping and love money, I think that what teachers do is amazing and I cannot wait to be a part of shaping children's lives. For some kids the only role model they have is their teacher and I think that this community is one that shapes my personal life more than my social life. Currently I am pretty active in that I am taking two classes to prepare for being a teacher and am about to start observing two classroom settings.

Another community that I consider myself part of is that of the Republican Party. I chose to be part of this community on my own; my parents wouldn't tell me what side they were on until I was old enough to choose it for myself. I consider myself more of a moderate rebublican but agree with more traditional, conservative aspects. I think I am pretty active in this community; I try to stay up to date politically and feel that it is a community that affects both my private and social life.

The last community that I am going to talk about is facebook. I think this is a community that although you are not forced into, you pretty much just have to jump the bandwagon since it seems it is something that seriously everybody has. I guess that I joined mostely because of my peers, it's a way to keep up to date with all of your friends at once. I am pretty active in it, at first it was a little addicting. It is definitely the community that reflects my social aspects the most.

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